Have you ever been manipulated by a man whose only goal was to satisfy his needs and ignore yours? You probably have and now you’re wondering whether there are any early signs of a controlling man.
You’re likely thinking about how you couldn’t see those red flags. How you could be so foolish to believe in this guy’s lies?
Truthfully, since women tend to be more empathetic than men, they often miss out on those early signs of a controlling man. They get blinded by love and fail to recognize the signs a man has control issues.
All manipulative people, including that guy you dated, hide their true colors very skillfully until they get under your skin. They prey on you and drag you into a toxic relationship with them – one that you cannot escape from easily.
I understand that your only desire is to find a man who’ll be there for your whenever you need him. Someone who won’t hide his intentions or feelings from you.
However, today’s dating scene is very chaotic and unbalanced.
Many men focus their attention on getting what they want from a woman and then leave her. They usually care about quantity rather than quality.
In order to get that, they deceive you with their pitiful lies. They play mind games that force you to think that true love doesn’t even exist.
But you’re wrong – it does exist, you just have to be patient and look out for the early signs of a controlling partner to avoid being hurt again.
Early signs of a controlling man
Being in a controlling relationship can certainly leave deep emotional scars on you. You never know where you stand when you decide to start a romantic relationship with someone who turns out to be a controlling person.
Your emotions and needs are totally neglected by the other person and you feel alone even if you’re committed to them. That’s why I decided to make a list of these 13 early signs of a controlling man to help you protect your heart from those awful men who will never love you the way you deserve to be loved.
1. He isolates you from everyone
One of the most common signs of controlling behavior is when your partner tries to isolate you from everyone. A manipulative boyfriend will use every trick up his sleeve to force you to cut ties with everyone around you.
At first, you may think that he’s doing that because he loves you so much and that he wants you just for himself but he actually has a secret agenda.
You may even feel flattered that he’s trying to spend that much time with you but it’s actually easier for him to control you when you’re around him all the time.
His goal is to isolate you from your friends and family members so that they have zero influence on you.
Perhaps he says that he doesn’t like the people who are close to you and truthfully, he doesn’t have to like them but he needs to respect them.
As time passes, his lies and deceptions will start to affect you as well. After a while, you’ll notice how you’re growing apart from your loved ones and how you’re not spending as much time as you used to with them.
He may also forbid you from going out with a particular friend because he thinks they have a bad influence on you.
Every time you grab a coffee with them, he gets depressed or angry and calls you in the middle of your conversation saying that you need to get home ASAP to help him with something.
He does this because he wants to brainwash you into believing whatever he wants and if you have no one to talk to, that means no one will try to take you from him.
Furthermore, the more he has you to himself, the harder it will be for you to leave him.
Eventually, you’ll have no one to turn to or to ask for advice from. You become completely dependent on one man, which should never happen.
2. He’s jealous of your ex-boyfriends
One of the early warning signs of a controlling boyfriend is when he’s obsessed not just with your male friends but with your ex-boyfriends as well.
A man like this has a difficult time accepting the fact that you had a life before you met him.
He’s jealous about each and every one of your previous ex-boyfriends and relationships. Basically, he’s a control freak who’s eager to find out every single detail of everything you did before him.
Due to his low self-esteem and self-confidence, he lives in a state of constant paranoia that you may try to get back with one of your exes and that he’s nothing more than a rebound to you.
He demands that you tell him everything you did in the relationships before him.
Even when you tell him that one particular guy is just a friend and nothing more, he doesn’t believe you and thinks that he’s one of your exes.
He constantly compares himself to them since he has trust issues and finds it tough to believe that you’re actually in a relationship with him.
He’s a narcissist in disguise who seeks constant validation. He uses guilt-tripping as a way to force you to prove to him that he’s the only one for you and that none of your exes meant anything to you.
And if you try to stay on good terms with any one of them or continue to follow them on social media, he’ll quickly accuse you of cheating on him.
3. He says you don’t give him enough attention
Whenever you start a romantic relationship with someone, it’s completely natural to want to spend as much time as possible with that person. They become the focus of your life and you give them your utmost attention.
This is quite normal to happen in any new relationship. But as soon as this infatuation stage passes and it happens again and again, you realize that you’re headed toward a toxic relationship.
Even if you love your partner with all your heart, you become aware that you are two separate individuals who need to have their own lives.
Stepping away for a moment and spending some time with your friends doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve stopped loving each other.
Nevertheless, things don’t work out that way when you’re in a controlling relationship.
One of the early signs of a controlling man is when he constantly nags you that his emotions are neglected and how he feels alone every time you do something with someone else.
At first, he may act like this poor, sad man whom you don’t love enough. After a while, you’ll realize that’s all part of his plan to draw you into a vicious circle and isolate you from anyone.
He’s a master manipulator who already knows what to say and what to do in order to lure you into his trap. He’s counting on you cutting off more and more people from your life so that he can become the focus of your attention.
He intentionally destroys all of your trips with family and friends, as well as interests and hobbies that don’t include him.
He’s aware that the next time someone invites you somewhere, you’ll say no because you’d feel guilty if you accepted and left him behind.
4. He’s charmingly insistent
It can be very flattering if a guy goes out of his way to buy you an expensive gift out of the blue or suggest something for you from a menu.
But if you say no to his suggestion and he becomes pretty persistent, saying that he knows what’s best for you, then you’re dealing with a controlling man.
This man may give you a ‘charmingly’ backhanded compliment about your outfit whenever you go out with your female friends or say stuff like, “Don’t you think that your skirt is too short?” or, “I think that shirt reveals a bit too much for my taste.”
And even if he liked that shirt when you two first met, now that he’s faced with the threat of other men loving it too, he thinks he has the right to influence the way you dress.
If you recognize this sign, then you should definitely leave him immediately and run for the hills.
5. He thinks he’s always right
If you’re wondering whether or not your partner is controlling, then pay attention to how many times he says that you’re right.
You see, a manipulative man won’t just settle for controlling your life, body, or actions. He’ll do his best to control your emotions and thoughts as well.
A man like that will always say how he’s right and you’re wrong. He wants you to agree with him on anything he says.
By doing so, he’s brainwashing you into thinking that he’s the smartest person in the world. No matter what, he always knows what he’s doing and expects you to nod your head and comply with him.
He doesn’t give you the freedom to have opinions of your own. He thinks of you as his property, so why would he let you speak your mind in the first place?
Furthermore, he wants you to follow his moral values and adopt his attitudes because he doesn’t think you can take care of yourself.
6. He pushes you to change things about yourself
A man who genuinely loves you with all of his heart will accept you as you are, with all your flaws and imperfections. He’ll stay by your side even through bad periods and won’t leave you no matter what happens.
But most importantly, when a man really loves you, he doesn’t force you to change in any way. He becomes the wind beneath your wings and inspires you to be a better person with each new day.
He will never try to transform you to fit his standards. After all, he doesn’t consider you to be his project but rather a life companion with whom he’ll grow old.
On the other hand, being in an unhealthy relationship with a controlling man means that he’ll do whatever he can to change you. He simply won’t accept the fact that there are parts of your personality that bother him.
Perhaps he doesn’t like the way you react in certain situations or the way you dress. If he becomes persistent in trying to change you then you can be sure that you’re dealing with a manipulative, controlling person.
7. He blames you for everything
One of the early signs of a controlling boyfriend is when he tries to play with your conscience and shifts the blame onto you for anything bad that happens in your relationship.
A man like this is excellent at pretending that he’s the victim and you’re not. He knows how to play with your mental health since he’s very good at reading people.
He won’t admit to his mistakes and always somehow manages to turn the tables. He’ll say that you provoked him to treat you badly or that he was getting his revenge for something you said or did months ago.
From his point of view, it’s always your fault and not his. There’s no scenario in which he takes his share of responsibility and you become free of guilt.
Eventually, he’ll force you to apologize for things that you didn’t do and you’ll need to beg for his forgiveness.
8. He’s very insecure
Control freaks and toxic people have one thing in common – they’re all insecure about themselves.
This is one of the early signs of a controlling man. Even if they appear confident or full of themselves on the surface, deep down, they’re struggling with keeping that image alive and not letting anyone see their true face.
The first time you met him, you probably thought that he was the real deal and an alpha male. However, as time goes by, you’ll become aware of the ugly truth that he’s very insecure about himself.
And the thing is, the more you spend time together, the more he’ll project his deeply-rooted self-esteem problems onto you. You may not see it because he’s wearing a mask but your partner is intimated by you.
He knows that you’re so much better than him and that he doesn’t deserve you. Instead of changing himself and working toward being a better person, he does something completely different.
Remember that he needs you to feel inferior and the only way he’ll achieve that is by dragging you down to his level. And that’s exactly what he does.
He puts all of his effort into destroying your confidence and making you feel worthless. He’s terrified that you’ll break up with him so in order to keep you by his side, he wants to turn you into an insecure woman.
9. He questions your loyalty all of the time
Most women will tell you that a bit of jealousy won’t do any harm. In fact, it’s absolutely normal to be a little jealous in the early stages of a romantic relationship.
It’s proof that you care about your partner or that you love him with everything you have. But there’s a huge difference between healthy and possessive jealousy.
When you’re dealing with a master manipulator, he’ll use the latter as a tool to keep you under his control. A man like this isn’t just jealous but he’ll question your loyalty all of the time.
Whenever a guy gets close to you, whether that’s a co-worker or your best friend, he’ll immediately accuse you of cheating on him, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
At first, you may see this as flattering or protective but after a while, it becomes a real issue.
There’s also a possibility that he’ll follow you just to make sure you’re not doing anything suspicious behind his back, as he’s certain that you’ll leave him for another guy.
This is an obvious sign he has no trust in you and that you should walk away from him.
10. He constantly criticizes you
One of the early signs of a controlling man is when he constantly criticizes you.
A man whose intentions are pure and genuine will call you out on your actions and tell you when you’ve done something wrong.
Furthermore, he’ll push you to become a better person by telling you the harsh truth directly to your face.
But being in a healthy relationship doesn’t mean that your partner criticizes your every move or word. If he does that, he’s not doing anything beneficial to help you improve yourself in a good way.
This guy invests all of his energy into putting you down. Eventually, you’ll feel threatened by him as he makes nasty comments about every little thing that you do.
He’ll tell you that you don’t earn enough money or that you’re not courageous enough, for example. And he does all of this intentionally.
Clearly, his goal is to make you feel bad about yourself. He wants you to think that you can’t do better than him.
11. He’s abusive
Usually, a manipulative man has a tendency to become an abusive partner. Although by that, I don’t strictly mean that he’s physically abusive, as there are different forms of abuse, such as psychological and emotional.
Being in an abusive relationship can leave you with a lot of scars. It can take a lot of time for them to heal.
A man who’s weak and insecure about himself will resort to abusive practices in order to boost his ego and to make you feel inferior. One way that he may achieve that is by gaslighting you.
He isn’t emotionally mature, so he can’t see just how much his words and actions hurt you. Whenever you try to confront him about it, he’ll say that it’s your fault and that you made him do it.
Remember that a controlling man isn’t a rational human being. He’s a manipulator in disguise whose actions can have real consequences on your mental health.
You won’t be able to get away from him so easily, as he’ll do his best to keep you by his side.
12. He gives you no privacy
Even though you and your boyfriend become partners when you start a romantic relationship, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your privacy. You can have a perfectly healthy relationship and your own life at the same time.
But when your partner doesn’t give you any free time and snoops around because he doesn’t trust you, well, that’s one of the early signs of a controlling man.
Someone like that will get very angry if you keep any secrets from him, even those that shouldn’t concern him at all.
He expects you to tell him everything about everyone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about your best friend or your mom and dad.
Also, he firmly believes that you should be monitored 24/7 because he doesn’t trust you. He doesn’t think that partners should feel the need for personal space or time.
A controlling boyfriend doesn’t give you any privacy. He thinks that if you ask him for some space, you’ll be doing so in order to leave him.
13. His love is conditional
Even though true love is unconditional, this man doesn’t believe in that.
He doesn’t act like he loves you when you’re not perfect and he can’t accept you with your flaws. That’s why he tries to change you to fit his standards.
But the moment you say to him that he needs to change something about himself, he immediately becomes cold and distant.
Also, whenever you’re going through something or feeling down, he’s nowhere to be seen since he doesn’t know how to respond to it.
Real love shouldn’t feel like that. Your partner should never explicitly forbid you from wearing something or try to isolate you from your friends and family.
But that’s exactly what this man will do to you. And if you try to resist, he’ll stop loving you.